Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W Michael Gear

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Tag Archives: archaeology

Who Owns America’s Archaeology? The American People? Or the highest bidders?

This is an interesting article for a lot of reasons.  The most important part of the piece comes on page 3: “The United States Senate recently voted 51 to 49 on a nonbonding resolution to sell or give away nearly all federal lands…”  

As a former BLM archaeologist, Kathleen can tell you that the federal government tried to sell public lands in 80s.  It was called “Asset Management.”  It was a money-making scheme then, and probably now.  Every time the government needs money, they think about selling off America.  Should the government be able to sell American cultural properties to the highest bidder?  Do you want China and Saudi Arabia to own one-third of the western U.S.?  Even if they outlaw foreign ownership, how about Monsanto or Exxon?  Although, in our own home state of Wyoming, it would be more like 50%, since half of the state is public lands.  

Want to know why Asset Management was abandoned in the 80s?  After the BLM had spent months surveying and analyzing, trying to comply with all the laws mandated to protect cultural, paleontology, geological and other national resources, the government decided it would cost about three as much to sell the lands as it would get for the lands.  So…unless the government is planning on ignoring its own laws to protect the public lands, this new scheme is going to fail, as well.  

We certainly hope so.  Most of the rare archaeological, historical, and paleontology sites in America–which currently belong to the American people–are not found in national parks or monuments, but outside them on other public lands administered by the BLM, Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and other agencies.  

 Anasazi Utah Cedar Mesa

Pyrite mirrors found in Arizona reveal ties to ancient Mexico.

Pyrite-Mirror-SnaketownMore than 50 polished pyrite mirrors were found in prehistoric graves at the Snaketown site, a Hohokam site, in Arizona.  Most were found burned and buried with cremated remains.  Pyrite mirrors like these were most likely made in Central Mexico and traded north to the U.S.  between AD 650 and AD 950.  Keep in mind that in many prehistoric cultures your reflection was your soul.  So a mirror like this was magical and a high status object. 


Rare petroglyphs revealed by monster surf in Hawaii: http://westerndigs.org/monster-surf-exposes-rare-petroglyphs-in-hawaii/

Hawaiian petroglyphsLast year monster waves, over 22 feet high, battered Hawaii and exposed rare petroglyphs… Very cool.


The Dark Side of Cultural studies… ISIS knows how to recruit.

ISIS and Pedophileshttp://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/04/09/what-isis-learned-from-pedophiles.html?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

Understanding culture is the key to everything.  Really.  If you’ve ever shaken your head and asked, “Why on earth would an American or British teenager pack up and head for Iraq to join ISIS?” you’re not alone.  Unfortunately, ISIS is using their own culture against them.  

These extremists understand the fears and secret desires of youth in the Western World, and they know precisely how to exploit it.  As this article points out, ISIS has the pedophile playbook is following it right down to the letter.  

If this article doesn’t terrify you, we suspect nothing will.  


Fort Ancient culture and agriculture… http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/spring-2015/article/native-american-mound-builder-society-experienced-rapid-agricultural-development

Fort Ancient Culture MAP

Fort Ancient culture was a mound building culture and heavily reliant on maize agriculture, but were they “Mississippian” (People of the Morning Star)  or a separate mound building culture descended from Hopewell (People of the Lakes)?  We think they came directly out of Hopewell, but interacted with Mississippian peoples.  What do you think? 


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